Downtown Master Plan

The first-ever Downtown Missoula Master Plan was created in 2007-2008 through a community-wide visioning process. It was unanimously approved by the Missoula City Council and several other Missoula organizations in 2009. The purpose of the plan was to build a comprehensive, balance-centered strategy to strengthen and expand Downtown Missoula’s role as the economic and cultural heart of the city. The 2009 Master Plan is a reflection of Missoula’s values. It reinforces the character, history, culture and economic activity of Downtown. The plan focused on land use and circulation and provides strategies in the areas of employment, housing, parking, retail, and tourism.

The Downtown Master Plan Implementation Team is comprised of 16 community members from the private and public sectors and consists of representatives from:

  • City Development Services
  • City Transportation Services
  • Destination Missoula
  • Downtown Business Improvement District
  • Farran Realty Partners
  • Missoula City Council
  • Missoula County Commission
  • Missoula Downtown Association
  • Missoula Downtown Foundation
  • Missoula Housing Authority
  • Missoula Parking Commission
  • Missoula Redevelopment Agency
  • Montana Department of Transportation
  • Mountain Line

The plan has attracted more than $850 million dollars of investment in Downtown Missoula. New and renovated buildings, expansion of government services, infrastructure and transportation improvements, and a culture of entrepreneurship are some of the focused accomplishments.

In May 2018, the Implementation Team provided a top line presentation highlighting accomplishments over the past decade to the Missoula City Council. You an view the presentation here.


  • Arts & Culture: Completed a Missoula Art Park (2017), and renovations to Missoula’s two historic theatres — The Wilma and The Roxy (2016)
  • Employment Centers: First Interstate Bank (2011), Garlington, Lohn & Robinson (2012), and Stockman Bank (2017) each built a six-story employment center in Downtown Missoula.
  • Hospitality: New five-story, mixed use development in the heart of historic downtown, anchored by a 174-room Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel (2018); renovation and upgrades to Holiday Inn Downtown (2017-2019), the DoubleTree Hotel (2018-2019); and a new conference center at the Riverfront Triangle in the planning stages.
  • Housing: Added more than 1,200 new housing units for all income levels, including new student housing at ROAM Student Living (2018) and The Sawyer (2019) in the Old Sawmill District.
  • New Parks and Trails: 15-acre Silver Park (2015), Brennan’s Wave, and improvements to Caras Park.
  • Transportation: North Higgins Street Improvement Project (2010) put Missoula in the national spotlight for protected bike lanes and complete streets design and led to full occupancy from Broadway north.The Madison Bridge was redecked with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities (2017); and the Higgins Avenue Bridge will undergo redecking and improved mobility for pedestrians and bicycles in 2019.
  • Parking: The Park Place Parking Structure (2013) won a national parking award for its design and holds the largest solar installation in the State of Montana.
  • Social Services: New buildings for the Poverello Center (2014), and the Missoula Food Bank (2017).

Past presentations to the Missoula City Council:


Priorities for the 2018 Master Plan update have been identified and include:

  • Land Uses
  • Circulation & Infrastructure
  • Downtown Housing
  • Parking
  • Street Design Standards
  • Downtown Housing Development
  • Business Recruitment & Retention
  • Economic Development
  • Health & Safety